Stepan and Wilson signings, arbitration, free agent defensemen, and more…
If you're used to seeing Neil on this day, I'm filling in for him today. He'll be back on this day next week.
I'm excited about the new relaunch for Dobber Hockey. Honestly, I have no idea what the site will look like. And by the time you read this article, it may already be on the new site.
I've been told to save my article on a Word document, which is where I originally type articles anyway. In case any of you ever post content to websites, this is an absolute must. You'd hate to type 1000+ words and have it all disappear because the website didn't save properly. Save and backup. Save and backup.
Website redesign is always an exciting time. When I was the content editor over at fantasyhockey.com, we went through a couple site redesigns. Both helped make the site look more modern. But finding everything always takes a bit of getting used to.
Now onto the hockey-related news for the day. The New York Rangers and Derek Stepan were able to avoid arbitration on Monday, agreeing on a six-year contract worth $39 million (cap hit $6.5 million) (NHL.com).
Stepan is an important part of the Rangers' attack, leading all Rangers' forwards in averaging just over 18 minutes per game in icetime last season. Don't be fooled by his -135 SAT ranking, which was third-worst on the Rangers. Stepan was equally deployed in offensive zone starts and defensive zone starts (50.3 OZS%) last season (Behind the Net), often facing off against an opponent's top line.
Stepan is a very consistent goal scorer, ranging between 16 and 21 goals over his five-season NHL career. Even if Derick Brassard is the preferred center for Rick Nash, a 20-goal, 40-assist output with 15 of those points on the power play seems like a very realistic projection for Stepan.
Don't forget that Stepan provided us with this moment to advance the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final (Apologies to Capitals fans.)